NCAA D1 Football playoff preview

December 2, 2022

The GIST: It’s not just your Spotify that’s wrapped — each FBS conference will tie their own bow when they crown their conference champ this weekend. Although the ACC is out of contention, the other Power Fives have CFP stakes on the line before Sunday’s 12 p.m. ET final selection.

Pac-12: No. 12 Utah Utes (9-3) vs. No. 4 USC Trojans (11-1) — Tonight at 8 p.m. ET (FOX): The only team the Trojans lost to this season? You guessed it: the Utes. With Heisman-favorite quarterback (QB) Caleb Williams only improving since that painful October 15th loss, USC will be out for revenge.

  • The Utes, for their part, will need both QB Cam Rising and hopefully-healthy star tight end Dalton Kincaid to repeat their mid-season magic if they want to nab the title…and dash the Trojans’ CFP hopes.

Big 12: No. 13 Kansas State Wildcats (9-3) vs. No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs (12-0) — Tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET (ABC): The TCU comeback kids, who overcame their biggest season deficit (18 points) when they beat the ’Cats just six weeks ago, need a repeat dub to ensure their CFP spot, while KSU will look to star running back Deuce Vaughn to play spoiler. This one could be the weekend’s true nailbiter.

SEC: No. 11 LSU Tigers (9-3) vs. No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (12-0) — Tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET (CBS): Despite some stellar performances this season, the Tigers are the underdawgs in this fight and will need unyielding defensive play to have any shot at besting Georgia, who — barring an absolute implosion — could probably lose and still make the CFP. Sorry, Bama.

Big Ten: Purdue Boilermakers (8-4) vs. No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (12-0) — Tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET (FOX): Purdue may be the best of the worst West, but they’re in the hot seat tomorrow, with the Wolverines expected to cruise to their second-straight conference title.

  • The Big(ger) Ten news? The outside-looking-in No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes. Their waning CFP chances rest on a USC or TCU stumble…which they’ll hope for from their sofas this weekend.